Sometimes, when you finish a novel, you just have to sit in a moment of silence and revel in the glory of the story. Such is the case with Shawn Smucker’s debut novel, “The Day the Angels Fell.” When I finished it, I had to just sit a minute and ponder all that was this amazing tale.
As a now elderly man who is saying goodbye to his final friend, Samuel Chambers reflects upon the summer he was 12 — the time he calls the summer of storms, the summer his mother died, the summer of the fire, and the summer he learned that death is a gift.
Mysterious events are occurring that summer — gypsies are appearing in town with the strange message “Find the Tree of Life” for Sam; wicked storms are hitting the town; two strange men, Mr. Jinn and Mr. Tennin, suddenly appear on Sam’s farm; and strange and wicked creatures suddenly start going on the prowl around his property.
As Sam and his best friend Abra (the friend who has passed away in the current setting) attempt to solve the mystery of “Find the Tree of Life,” they must also determine who they can trust. Is Mr. Jinn on their side, or is Mr. Tennin? And what is their involvement with the Tree of Life?
As supernatural forces begin to gather and take sides in this story of creation, life, death and sacrifice, Sam must also decide on which side he belongs — and will he do anything to bring his mother back from the grave?
“The Day the Angels Fell” is an incredible book that starts with time’s creation and the Garden of Eden and takes us on a journey of what happened to the Tree of Life after the fall of man in Eden — especially what happened to it the summer Sam was 12.
But besides being a great supernatural story featuring angels, a mysterious sword and the very beasts of hell, it also delves into some very deep themes. Death is a very prevalent topic, but Smucker does a great job of showing us that we need not fear death. We need to look at death as a gift, as a beginning to a beautiful eternity, and that we actually face a horrible existence without death.
Darkness versus light, and how we allow them to impact us, also meanders predominantly throughout this story. It shows us we must make the most of today because there is no guarantee of another day; the power of truth; and the importance of sacrifice and lack of selfishness.
Shawn Smucker writes in a beautifully descriptive manner (“The air woke up, like a viper sensing a small mouse dropped into its cage”). He does an excellent job of allowing his reader to not only see the scene, but hear it and feel it and smell it.
Fans of Mike Dellosso and Robert Liparulo will love “The Day the Angels Fell.” I know I’m really looking forward to his next novel, unfortunately not due until the Summer of 2018.
Five stars out of five.
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, provided this complimentary copy for my honest, unbiased review.